Small business customer relationship management

Small business customer relationship management solutions are gaining ground. Customer relationship management (CRM) includes the strategies, tools and applications that help you organize and manage customer relationships. (And even find new clients.)

Customer relationship management means more than installing a CRM or contact management software package. Embracing a vision of customer relationship management is key. Map out all stages of your relationships with customers – pre-contact, prospects, suspects, leads, qualified leads, clients about to sign, clients, past clients and more.

By working out all the tools and processes needed to manage these stages (and move contacts to the next stage), you can begin to put together your customer relationship management strategy. This can include training staff, changing business processes, implementing IT systems, developing new marketing programs, overhauling the sales process, and redesigning customer service and after-care programs.

The great thing about managing your customer relationships is that you can look after existing customers and perhaps even avoid cold calling.